As little Adelaide Roncalli was picking flowers on the 13th of May 1944, she was visited by a heavenly family! Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus appeared to seven-year-old Adelaide Roncalli on May 13, 1944 in a small village in the north of Italy named Ghiaie di Bonate which is near Bergamo also near Milan. At the six o’clock hour on that late afternoon, Adelaide was picking elder flowers and daisies along the path which slopes down by the pine wood to offer them to a painting of Our Lady. Her sister, Palmina (six-years-old) and some other little girls were with her.
From Adelaide’s diary:
“I was picking flowers for the image of the Virgin Mary which hangs halfway down the stairs in my home. I had also picked some daisies and I had arranged them into a wheelbarrow that my dad had made. I saw a beautiful elder flower but it was far above my reach for me to pick. I stood there, admiring it, when I saw a golden spot coming down from above and drawing near the earth little by little; while it was approaching it got bigger and bigger and I could make out the presence of a beautiful Lady with Baby Jesus in her arms and Saint Joseph on her left. The three persons were enveloped into three oval circles of light and remained suspended in space not far from the wires.
The Lady, beautiful and majestic, was wearing a white dress and a blue mantle; on her right arm she carried a Rosary made of white beads; on her bare feet two white roses stood. Her dress was set off by a string of pearls, all equal, tied in gold in the shape of a necklace. The circles enveloping the three persons were bright with shades of golden light. At first I was scared and was on the point of running away, but the Lady called me in a sweet voice and said: “Do not run away, as I am the Virgin Mary!”. So I stopped and was gazing at her, but I was a little afraid. The Virgin Mary looked at me, then added: “You must be good, obedient, respectful of your neighbors and sincere: pray well and come back to this place for nine evenings, always at this time”.
Our Lady looked at me for a few seconds and then slowly went away, without turning her back on me. I kept staring at them intently until a whitish cloud hid them from my view. Baby Jesus and Saint Joseph had not spoken; they only looked at me with an amiable expression”.
Palmina and the other girls tried to get Adelaide’s attention, but she was unresponsive in her ecstatic state. They called to her and tried to pull on her because they were worried. Palmina ran off to tell her mom that ‘Adelaide was dead, but on her feet.’ In a while, Adelaide came out of her ecstasy and she told her friends about her vision. No one at home made much out of the occurrence on the first day.
The apparitions took place at about six o’clock in the afternoon twelve more times during May 1944. Crowds grew and grew every successive afternoon. The Virgin Mary was the only one to speak to Adelaide. According to the child’s story, the Virgin spoke in her dialect inviting all of us to prayer, to conversion, to penance. In the final days of the apparitions, the crowds grew to be as large as 350,000 people.
There were solar phenomena associated with the apparitions just as was the case in the final Fatima apparition (October 13, 1917). The description of a witness from the May 21st apparition is as follows: “the sun came out of the clouds, whirled dizzily on itself projecting beams of yellow, green, red, blue, violet light in all directions; the beams of light colored the clouds, the fields, the trees and the stream of people. After a few minutes the sun stopped its whirl and those phenomena began soon again. Many noticed that the disc had turned white like a Communion Host; the clouds seemed to be lowering down on the people. Some noticed a Rosary in the sky, some others a majestic Lady with a trailing mantle.” From Bergamo many witnesses observed the sun become pale and radiate all the rainbow colors, shed in all directions; they also noticed a large yellow light beam falling over the Ghiaie perpendicularly.”
After the apparitions stopped, Adelaide was sorely tried by certain clergy. Just a few years later in 1948, the local bishop forbade devotion, claiming that “every form of devotion for Our Lady, as she appeared at Ghiaie di Bonate, remained hereunder forbidden, in compliance with the canonical laws.” The lay faithful however continued to believe. Adelaide Roncalli maintained throughout her life that she did see the Holy Family in apparitions. Adelaide married after a failed attempt to enter religious life. She lived a very quiet life in Milan and died August 24, 2014 at the age of 77.
We have look into the content of the 7th apparition to see the prophecy that has recently come to fruition. During the May 19, 1944 apparition, the young Adelaide asked Our Lady to work a miracle so that all the people may believe that they were appearing. The Virgin said, “The time for it will come, many will be converted and I will be recognized by the Church”. Then She added gravely: “Meditate upon these words all the days of your life, summon up your courage in all your sorrows. You will see me again in the hour of your death, I will keep you under my mantle and will take you to Heaven”.
The time has come for recognition by the Church as we share exciting news about this devotion. It just so happened that the Bishop of Bergamo, Francesco Beschi, wrote in a letter dated January 1, 2019 to the faithful approval of the devotion to Mary, Queen of the Family. Here is part of his letter:
Now it is time for this devotion, always accompanied and never stifled by the shepherds of the Church, free from the bonds of bias and from that need of signs that hides unbelief, may shine to illuminate and support the path of so many faithful, especially those who live in situations of fatigue and suffering.
A devotion that right here, at the Ghiaie di Bonate, near the chapel dedicated to
Mary Queen of the Family, a small house for all pilgrims and wayfarers, finds a
Here, at the Ghiaie di Bonate, entrusted to the prudent and wise guidance of the shepherds of the parish community.
Here, at the Ghiaie di Bonate, where the worthy commitment of the parish community, supported by that of the diocese, has seen in recent years an effort that is necessary to protect and guard these places so they remain places of silence and a simple and cordial welcome. In order that essentially everyone, just everyone, no one excluded, can feel at home.
As Pope Francis writes: “Mary lived like no other the Beatitudes of
Jesus. She is the one who was overcome with joy in the presence of God, she who kept everything in her heart and she let herself to be pierced by the sword. She is the saint among the saints, the most blessed, she who shows us the way of holiness and accompanies us. She does not accept that when we fall, we remain on the ground. She carries us without judging us.
Conversation with her consoles us, frees us and sanctifies us. The Mother does not need many words, you do not need to strain too much to explain what happens to us. It’s enough to whisper again and again: “Hail Mary full of grace, the LORD is with thee…” »(Gaudete et Exultate, No. 176).
Thanks dear pilgrim and traveler for your passage and your visit. I ask you to say
a prayer for me and for the Church of Bergamo assuring you of mine. May God the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of the Family,
bless you and your loved ones.
1 January 2019, Solemnity of Mary Most Holy Mother of God
Francesco Beschi, Bishop of Bergamo